It is not often that a restaurant combines a great view along with refined gastronomy. But at Mirabelle restaurant on the 7th floor of the Hotel Splendide in Rome, at Via di Porta Pinciana, 14, you get that and more. You get elegance, luxury, sophistication, live music, large flower arrangements on every table, with sweeping, panoramic views of historical Rome and the green canopies of the Borghese Gardens. The restaurant opened in 2001, and since 2002, it has been under the leadership of restaurant manager Luca Constanzi, who overlooks every detail with a love and passion for his job. You know you are in excellent hands and are in for a special lunch or dinner.

The restaurant had a Michelin star, which they lost when the previous chef departed. But under the new executive Chef Stefano Marzetti and his team, the restaurant is soaring to new heights.

The whole experience feels like dining in a different era. When is the last time you remember a room that is all gilt and ornate moldings and marble, with linens, fine crystal, and tableware, Murano chandeliers and antiques? The waiters wear white dinner jackets and bow ties. However, I did find it old-fashioned to receive a menu without prices. This felt like the dark ages, and is a practice that should die in my opinion. The manager asked us to request a song. When the singer didn’t know it, they surprised us with a canned version of Frank Sinatra singing our wedding song. Pretty impressive!

The restaurant has a glass floor to ceiling wall, but, weather permitting, I suggest trying to book a table on the terrace, the best seats in the house.

We were in excellent hands with our server Danielé, giving us highly personal service. The restaurant offers tasting meals, gluten-free menu or a la carte selections, and we were told of the highlights.

There were a few amuse bouche to start and afterwards, I particularly enjoyed the seafood crudo with watermelon infused with Campari. Some of the other standouts, a divine candy shaped ravioli pasta, with a creamy egg yolk, bacon, and asparagus topped with a black truffle. I don’t particularly like ordering lobster in Europe as I am partial to Canadian or Maine lobster, but the version here was the best I have ever had in Europe. We had an eggplant risotto that tasted exactly like an eggplant Parmesan. How do they do this? The menu changes frequently depending on the season, but one item they haven’t taken off the menu since the opening is the duck with orange sauce. Both of our desserts were also better than anything I’ve had in Italy before. They tasted more like French pastries than Italian. A “7th Heaven” chocolate dessert with a hazelnut center and topped with gold leaf, the other was a take on cannoli, stuffed with custard and some tapioca. They use the finest ingredients and seasonality in all the dishes which are beautifully presented, and showcased the chef’s talents and creativity.

The restaurant employs three sommeliers and there is 900 bottles to choose from. There is an impressive book of Italian and international wines.

The romantic ambiance, coupled with a devotion to hospitality, creative Italian cuisine, attentive service, in an upscale, sophisticated setting and breathtaking views, make for a dramatic and memorable evening. One of Rome’s top restaurants.

Highly recommended.

Happy Dining,
Shanea

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